Shining a light on the 5th century AD in Surrey and the South-East: how did Roman Britain become Saxon England?

Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 09:30 to 17:00

Surrey Archaeological Society is arranging a major conference centred on the period between about AD 410 to AD 470 when, in our part of the country, Roman Britain became Saxon England.

The South-East corner of England ought to be a key area in the understanding of this period. It has long been recognised that a simple 'invasion and replacement' demographic model should not be imposed in this, or any other region of England. Here (again, as elsewhere) there are clear examples of important elements of the Late Roman infrastructure of sites and roads emerging as components of the Early Anglo-Saxon settlement pattern. But we still have very little archaeological evidence for the period, in particular from c. AD 410-470.

The aim of the conference will be to bring together a number of scholars with relevant expertise from each side of this gap and challenge them to say what they think was happening. Were many of the ‘Saxons’ here before the end of the Roman period? Is there a case for much more assimilation and continuity than is suggested in the traditional histories of the period? Can we arrive at a new model for the transition from Roman to Saxon in the South-East that takes account of current understanding of the later Roman and early Saxon periods, and establish a programme of work by which the model could be tested?

The conference will be hosted by Surrey Archaeological Society and one of its aims will be to provide a basis for future research in the (historic) county.

The following leading scholars from both sides of the ‘gap’ have agreed to present papers:

- Dr Peter Guest (Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at Cardiff University), expert on coins and the later Roman period in the west .

- Dr James Gerrard (Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at Newcastle University), expert on later Roman pottery and the later period in London and elsewhere.

- Dr Ellen Swift (Reader in Archaeology at the University of Kent, Canterbury ), research interests in artefact studies and late and post-Roman transition in the West .

- Dr Sam Lucy (Fellow of Newnham College, University of Cambridge), author of a number of publications on later Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites, her latest research is on the interpretation of the latest Romano-British pottery horizon at Mucking.

- Professor Helena Hamerow (Professor of Early Medieval Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford), author of numerous books and articles on archaeology and early medieval history.

- Dr Kate Mees (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Archaeology, University of Durham), currently researching funerary landscapes and social change in Early Medieval Northwest Europe.

- Professor John Hines (Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University), specialising in the archaeology, literature and languages of medieval northern Europe, whose published work includes specifically Surrey studies.

                                                                     Once the programme and ticket prices are finalised tickets will be on sale via the website. 



Postal Address: 
Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
Woodfield Lane
KT21 2BE